SALT LAKE CITY — When people think of October, images of fall colors, Halloween decor and pumpkin patches typically enter their minds. However, this month also has some really hot fishing in Utah, and because there are fewer people on the water, it’s a perfect time to take the whole family.
Families have just a short drive to a variety of community fisheries near their neighborhoods, where they can find some great fishing for just an hour after dinner on a weeknight.
During the first half of October, Utahns see the second-best fishing action of the whole year. (It’s second best because the fishing in late May and early June is hard to beat.) The fish are biting like crazy, which will provide some exciting fishing trips for your whole family. And, as an added bonus, the weather is comfortably cool, the fall colors are gorgeous and you’ll find fewer people crowding your favorite fishing hole.
“Fishing is a great way to get your kids outdoors so you can all spend time together,” Randy Oplinger, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources sportfish coordinator, said. “It teaches your kids patience and also instills that love of spending time in nature. Your children will learn problem-solving skills while figuring out how to get a fish to bite, and they’ll become more self-sufficient as they learn to catch their own food.”
One of the big reasons that many people give for not taking their families fishing is a lack of time. However, many of the areas that offer great fishing in October are located right along the Wasatch Front. Families have just a short drive to a variety of community fisheries near their neighborhoods, where they can find some great fishing for just an hour after dinner on a weeknight.
“Our community fisheries are stocked each fall and are located throughout the state,” Oplinger said. “Plus, many of them have other amenities as well like trails, benches and playgrounds. So older children could enjoy an afternoon of fishing, while the younger kids play on the playground. You can easily find an activity that appeals to everyone in your family.”
Along with being close by, the community fisheries are stocked with rainbow trout and other species like bluegill, largemouth bass and catfish that are easier to catch because they take a variety of lures, baits and flies. October is a great time to fish for rainbow trout, in particular.
“These waterbodies also have great shoreline access, which makes it easy for people to get to the fish,” Oplinger said.
You can find the closest community fishery to you on the DWR website.
Another great place to take your family fishing this month is Big Sandwash Reservoir. Located north of Roosevelt, in Duchesne County, this waterbody offers rainbow trout and yellow perch, which are both easier species to catch. Anglers can also catch smallmouth bass.
“Big Sandwash has a variety of fish species that can provide a good experience for a beginner, while a more experienced angler can stand right next to them and target a more challenging species,” Oplinger said.